By Liz McGehee

The gut is sometimes referred to as the body’s “second brain” and with good reason.  Studies have shown that gut bacteria is linked to Alzheimer’s disease, the immune system and overall mood.  This is because more than half of our immune system and neurotransmitters are located in the gut.  That’s also why antibiotics, which lack the ability to discern good bacteria from bad bacteria, can devastate gut health and cause other issues, such as yeast infections.  

A popular way of correcting poor gut health is to take probiotics in supplement form.  But there are a number of ways healthy bacteria can die before ever reaching the gut.  Additionally, probiotic supplements are expensive.  

So how can you guarantee great gut health at an affordable price?  The natural way, of course!

One study published by Applied and Environmental Microbiology in 2015 indicated that the symptoms of test mice with inflammatory bowel disease lessened with natural probiotics when compared to the supplement form.  Other studies suggest that yogurt has a better survival rate on its journey to the gut than supplements. 

If you think about it, our ancestors were able to ingest probiotics naturally long before supplements ever existed.  Korea’s national dish, Kimchi (spicy, fermented vegetables) was born in a time without refrigeration, and it’s still an amazing source of healthy bacteria.  In fact, one serving of fermented or pickled vegetables can contain as many colony-forming bacteria as an entire bottle of probiotic supplements.  

With that in mind, below are some natural probiotics to consider introducing into your diet for a healthier gut.

If you have any gut issues or questions about probiotics please speak with your primary doctor about your options and the best probiotic source for you.

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